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Today I’m talking about an issue that comes up very frequently in our business, and that issue is the question of whether a seller and the broker who lists that seller’s home is required to pass onto to subsequent buyers an inspection report that was done by previous buyers. Previous buyers had the house under contract, for whatever reason. That contract fell off. Now is the inspection report that those buyers received from their inspector required to be passed on to subsequent buyers?

Here’s a snippet of the Texas Real Estate Commission and Texas Association of Realtor position on this question.

“A broker or seller who receives an inspection report is charged with knowledge of the information in the report, whether they agree with the information or not. The seller and broker are obliged to disclose material defects contained in the report to subsequent buyers.”

That’s the answer. If the buyer’s agent emails the report, sends it via snail mail, or however they get that report to the listing agent, broker, and the seller, that information has now been received and the seller and broker are responsible for the information contained therein. If they don’t receive the report, obviously they’re not responsible for it. What this does is it creates some animosity as you may have experienced yourself, because I’ve seen listing agents get very upset with buyer’s agents who send a repair amendment, a repair request to the listing agent, to the seller, but along with it they send the entire inspection report.

These listing agents get so upset, “I didn’t ask you to send me this,” and, “We’re not going to even open it.”

That doesn’t matter.

If you receive it, it doesn’t matter whether you open it, the seller opens it, or nobody opens it. Once it is received, the broker who listed the property and the seller,

who owns the property, are responsible for then disseminating that inspection report with the seller’s discloser to any future subsequent buyers. And as I’ve said, I’ve seen this result in some knockdown, drag-out fights, and some listing agents think that that’s very unprofessional and that you shouldn’t send that report … that the buyer’s agent shouldn’t send it to the listing agent unless they are given permission to do so.

There is no hard and fast rule in the eyes of the Texas Real Estate Commission, or the Texas Association of Realtors having to do with that particular dynamic. In other words, is the buyer’s agent obliged to send it, should they send it, should they ask permission? There are no protocols with TREC and TAR regarding that.

So what I would say is, if you’re a buyer’s agent and you’re going to send an amendment or a repair request to the listing agent. Call them and ask them, “do you want the inspection report as well? That way you can verify that what we’re asking for is indeed contained in the report and is a concern of that particular inspector?”

It’s a very touchy situation, one, that you should consult with your broker.

Have you run into this before? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts.